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Chile: Organization
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > The Security Forces > The Carabineros > Organization

ORGANIZATION


The Carabineros are commanded by a director general and organized geographically into three main zones -- the Northern Zone, the Central Zone, and the Southern Zone. Each of these zones is in turn subdivided into prefectures (prefecturas), subprefectures (subprefecturas), commissariats (comisarĂ­as), subcommissariats (subcomisarĂ­as), lieutenancies (tenencias), reserves (retenes), and outposts (puestos avanzados).

The Carabineros also include marine and air sections. The Air Police, which ranks as a separate prefecture, dates from 1946, when it was formed with a single Aeronca Champion aircraft. The Air Police acquired its first helicopter in 1968; by 1993 its inventory of helicopters had increased to fourteen.

Operationally, the Carabineros are divided into seventeen departments: analysis and evaluation, armaments and munitions, borders and boundaries, civic action, data processing, drug control and prevention of offenses, finance, forestry, internal security, legal, minors, police services, public relations, social action, supply, traffic control, and transport. In addition to their normal law enforcement and allied functions, the Carabineros perform extensive civic action, including the provision of medical and dental services to the populations of the less developed regions of the country and the protection of forests and wildlife. The Carabineros are also responsible for customs control and the Presidential Guard. Separate prefectures deal with the Air Police, the Radio Patrol, and the Special Forces.

The largest single concentration of Carabineros is in Santiago, where apart from headquarters and administrative personnel, the schools, and the Presidential Guard, there are five geographical prefectures: the Central Prefecture, North Prefecture, South Prefecture, East Prefecture, and West Prefecture. These are in turn subdivided into twenty-six territorial and nine operational commissariats.

Data as of March 1994




Last Updated: March 1994


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Chile was first published in 1994. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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